Saturday, November 27, 2010

The big thaw

It happened so fast, over Thanksgiving night and into the next day; we could drive around and walk without sliding into disaster. While visiting my mother, I spoke with some old acquaintances there to visit their elderly aunt. Two of the girls had been elementary school students of mine ages ago, and the one almost out of college said she drove up to Seattle from Salem on Monday, and was still stunned by the surreal experience. Trucks and buses were jack-knifed and scattered all across the lanes of the freeway, and the traffic still able to move had to weave around them, from lane to lane. As she approached Seattle, the snow came down harder and harder, and she was amazed to actually get to her parents' house. This La Nina condition is loca.
Sunday afternoon now, and it was warm enough to walk without a heavy outer layer; soaked up as much light as I could.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Living inside a freezer

There's lovely sunshine today beaming down on the hard-frozen landscape; pretty white contours, but biting to the skin. The winds have been so strong the past few days we could only hope against a power outage; this year we have been lucky thus far. We didn't have to drive anywhere, unlike thousands who got trapped by their evening homeward commute. There is parking amnesty for a bit, so people can retrieve their stranded vehicles without fear of penalties; surprising kindness on the part of bureaucracies with budget woes. Not everywhere, though.
We walked briefly before grabbing a bit to eat and coming home to practice. I felt no desire to stay outside in the miserably cold dark. May this not be a taste of the rest of the winter...

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Spent a couple of shivering hours playing caroling music in Edmonds, a little city north of here where our LGBT band has moved its main concert venue. There were three of us clarinets, all straight female allies, with our chilled plastic clarinets which sounded un-tuned, but we represented for the group. Passed out lots of post cards and got about 16 posters put up, so we hope the holiday concert will be filled up. Several of our numbers wound up in a pub down the hill, for beverages and food; it was a great time to get to know one another better.
The week is flying along, and who knows what the end of it will bring.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Over the weekend

Visited mom, got together with friends for dinner and a play, an adaptation of Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, which even a few days later I'm still wondering about what they wanted to do with the story. Parts of it worked for me, parts did not, but as with their ninety minute version of Crime and Punishment, I liked not re-reading the book just now.
We have descended into the "dog's nose" days of November, wet and chilly; great for reading and playing holiday music with a great group. One of our bandmates, a trumpet player, loaned me an intriguing novel by a writer named John Crowley. It's titled Little, Big, and is fantasy, but a most engaging and sometimes challenging bit of it, not all battling elves riding war dragonflies. After a slow start, I became intent upon its Tale. It was a fine read on cold dark nights.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Yes, at some minutes after midnight, I entered a new decade; it's one of those "zero birthdays." Not sure what to think. Good thing I have to practice my clarinet.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Twas a wrap

Second concert on Sunday afternoon, in honor of the Pride Foundation's anniversary; things went better for me on most pieces, but of course, the ominous "Sorcerer" took its pound of flesh.
'nough said on that score.
We march forth into holiday music, which is saner and may even be mastered.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Make hay

We threw off obligations for an afternoon and had a lovely walk on an extremely rare warm November day; one of those urban hikes we can take around here without having to drive all over the place. Swell views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains across the way; no harbor seal pups visible, due to the rising tide.
We had another one last weekend, happening to pass by the University of Washington Fisheries Department's salmon spawning pond. For decades it's been used to house a salmon run, and school kids and other people have been observing the harvest of eggs and milt for the next year's hatch; bloody and shocking, but interesting. The fisheries folks would take care of the eggs and hatchlings, schools would take some back to raise in tanks, then release them in the spring into a nearby water source to head out. No more; budget woes dictated its demise, to the tune of a $60,000 savings. We watched the huge fish swirling around the pond for the last time, and I had to wonder about the handcart to hell.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


For our wonderful cat, upon whom the ravages of aging took a sudden and final toll; hard to see the little piles of toys around the house, and he's not here to roust me for breakfast. Can't bear to tell my mom, who was very fond of him.
Onward into glorious late fall.